Date of Graduation

Fall 12-13-2019

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Michael Bueno MSN, RN, CNL


Ineffective discharge education plays a role in increased readmission rates, adverse drug events, and worsened patient outcomes post-hospitalization. When combined, the resulting financial burden on America’s healthcare system is exorbitant, as is the physical and mental toll on unsuspecting patients. To close the current gaps in discharge teaching, this project is incorporating the teach-back method and utilizing updated medication handouts.

Starting on the sepsis unit of a large, local medical center – the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) interns employed assessment tools to identify areas for improvement. The data revealed rushed, incomprehensive discharge medication education and reflected in low HCAHPS scores in the areas of “Communication about Medications” and “Care Transitions.” Utilizing the Plan, Do, Study, Act tool, more succinct and personalized medication class worksheets were conceived and the unit’s discharge education protocol for nurses was updated to include the utilization of teach-back regarding prescribed medication purpose and side effects. Said changes were based on evidence-based practice and relevant literature.

In order to determine the success of the project, HCAHPS scores will be analyzed. Within ten months of implementation, the anticipated HCAHPS scores will be 58.2% (from 36.7%) in “Communication about Medications” and 56.9% (from 39.1%) in “Care Transitions.” Additionally, the potential unit savings is estimated to decrease by $949 to $44,190 per patient by improving medication education upon discharge.

Improved discharge medication education is attainable by utilizing enhanced medication education sheets in combination with the teach-back method. The success of this quality improvement project on the given unit can and should be seen as framework to enact similar positive changes to additional units.

Included in

Nursing Commons